Demand for active and intelligent packaging is projected to reach US$3.5 bln in 2017, fueled by the development of new generations of products with increased functionality and the expanded availability of lower cost products, as per Freedonia. Growth for intelligent packaging will be significantly faster than that of active packaging and will be propelled by rapid advances for newer and emerging technologies such as quick response (QR) and other mobile marketing codes and printed electronics on packaging. Gains will also be aided by greater use of time-temperature indicator labels due to the availability of less costly product types as well as growing requirements with temperature-sensitive drugs and food safety regulations calling for increased track and trace capabilities.
Gas scavengers were the leading active packaging product type in 2012. Growth will outpace the active packaging average through 2017 based on rising demand for barrier polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in single-serving sizes. Advances will also be supported by a continued favorable outlook for packaged organic foods and the removal of trans fats from many types of processed and other foods, necessitating the need for oxygen absorbers in extending shelf life. Moisture control, corrosion control, and susceptor packaging demand will expand more slowly based on the presence of more mature product types and applications. Corrosion control packaging demand will accelerate, aided by heightened domestic and reshored US manufacturing activity following recent declines.
Food and beverages were the two largest markets for active and intelligent packaging in 2012, together accounting for 65% of demand. Advances in food uses will be based on heightened requirements for longer shelf life for processed foods and packaged fresh foods and the growing importance of food safety following outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. Additionally, robust advances for intelligent packaging will be driven by the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, which can read quick response and other advanced barcodes on packaging. Near field communication enabled devices will achieve a growing presence over the next several years and will provide further gains as the technology is simpler to use than QR codes.
Beverage market demand will be driven by greater use of intelligent packaging on beverage containers and labels, including color indicating features, smartphoneenabled barcodes, and time-temperature indicators. Oxygen scavenger increases will be driven by the greater costcompetitiveness of monolayer oxygen scavenging systems compared to multilayer systems along with rising use of single-serving PET bottles.
Pharmaceuticals will be the fastest growing market for active and intelligent packaging through 2017, fueled by the growing health care needs of the aging US population, an increased prevalence of chronic diseases, and the expanding presence of high value, temperaturesensitive biotechnology drugs in the product mix. In addition, technology improvements will result in more affordable pricing for many intelligent packaging products. The increased prevalence of drugs with high moisture sensitivity will boost demand for moisture control packaging.